Unsung Mission Partners

  • Published
  • By Col. Devin Pepper
  • 21st Operations Group

When we think about readiness and being ready to fight tonight, we tend to focus our attention to the men and women who serve in uniform. As many of you already know, the 21st Operations Group has a global presence and we are always vigilant and always ready for the fight, wherever we find ourselves. 

In the 21st Operations Group, we have men and women executing strategic nuclear command, control and communications, missile defense, and battlespace characterization missions in defense of our nation and space domain, to include expeditionary squadrons deployed down range supporting the close-in counter-insurgent fight on behalf of U.S. Central Command commander.

We’re able to perform the missions assigned to us because of our Total Force approach in doing business. This includes relying upon our active duty, reserves, Air National Guard, government civilians, allies and, yes, contractors; all of whom take on the tremendous responsibility of ensuring mission readiness and mission success.

Although it is mainly the military members who come to mind when we think of preparedness and warfighting readiness, the group that often times goes unnoticed are our contractors who support and maintain our many sites across the globe and provide continuity of operations as our military operators rotate in and out on one, two or three year rotations.  Many of our expert contractor workforce have been at our sites for 10, 20, even 30 years.

The hundreds of contractors supporting our world-wide geographically separated units are the people who enable our operations on a daily basis, believe in the missions they support, and work side-by-side with us in the fight and around-the-clock. They often go overlooked because their company is being paid to provide a service, but make no doubt, regardless of compensation, they are in the fight and committed to successful mission outcomes just as every man and woman who wears the uniform. 

Over the years, our contractor brethren have assured the operability and reliability of our systems, ensuring we can perform our assigned missions. When things break, there is always a team there to fix the issue, day or night. 

In addition to being instrumental in the integration of operations and intelligence, our contractors have also ensured our military personnel have the best quality of life at our many remote locations, initiating numerous initiatives to make sure our Airmen have the best.

To the contractors supporting our global mission, you all have been the “unsung” mission partners. Thank you for answering the call to duty.  Fight’s On!